covid-19 latest news, useful prevention advice

[Important] Travel News for Expats: China travel is reopening! Travel with China Discovery and learn about where to visit & requirements for each destination! Read Details >

10 Days Yunnan Tibet Unique Discovery Tour

Unique Exploration & Real Discovery on High Plateau

1

Before you taking this trip, you can ask yourselves a question what kind of travelers you are. If you are travelers who are seeking for the scene of elemental beauty, high plateau primitive scenery, mysterious and diverse cultures, magnificent monasteries, devoted pilgrims...yes, this 10 days Yunnan Tibet tour is perfectly right for you. Both Yunnan and Tibet are situated in the southwest and west China, with altitudes ranging form 1800 meters to 3650 meters, sharing some similarities as well as showing distinctive differences.

Highlights of this tour:

    Yunnan is a beautiful place at South of the Colorful Clouds and home to 25 ethnic groups. When you first hear the name and know the meaning, you’re moved to come and explore. From the breathtaking natural landscape to brilliant ethnic cultures, from modern cityscape to time-honored old towns, from deep gorges and high mountains to peaceful lakes and rivers...you’ll never feel bored in any time when visiting the best of the bests in Kunming, Lijiang and Shangri-La.

    Tibet, the Roof of the World, is on a humbling scale and every view is lit with spectacular mountain light. You’ll explore in Lhasa, Place of the Gods, to see the red and white Potala Palace soaring above the holy city and Jokhang Temple with pious pilgrims and you’ll finally fall in love with Tibet. It is fascinating, inspiring and endlessly photogenic.

    Why not come with China Discovery to step on the high plateau for unique exploration and real discovery in Yunnan and Tibet?

Basic Trip Information

Price:
from $1728
  1. 1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one double-bed room in 4-star hotel and traveling in low seasons;
  2. 2. This price is subject to change according your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate.
Travel Route:
Kunming / Lijiang / Shangri-La / Lhasa
Travel Length:
10 Days & 9 Nights
Tour Code:
CD-YTDT-10
Group Size:
You, your family & friends
Experience:
Departure:
Any day you want

Your tour - at a glance

Day 1~2 Arrival & Kunming Tour

Arrival in Kunming, the Spring City of China. Explore Western Hill and climb up to Dragon Gate to have panoramic view of Dianchi Lake. Visit Flower & Bird Market to witness Kunming is a city of “flowers”. Take one day to see Stone Forest and minority village of Sani people.

Day 3~4 Lijiang Tour

In the Naxi kingdom, you are going to visit Yuhu Village to the Former Residence of Joseph Rock, see Baisha Mural Painting in Baisha Village, explore freely in Shuhe Ancient Town and Lijiang Old Town. Take one day to see the First Bend of Yangtze River and hike to Tiger Leaping Gorge before head to Shangri-La.

Day 5 Shangri-La Tour

In this earthly paradise Shangri-La, you’ll explore Songzanlin Monastery, Pudacuo National Park (Bita Lake and Shudu Lake), and pay a visit to local Tibetan Family.

Day 6~10 Lhasa Tour & Departure

On the holy land of Tibet, explore Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street, Norbulingka Park, Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery and Namtso Lake.

Full Itinerary Day by Day

Day 1 Kunming Arrival

Welcome to Kunming, the Spring City of China! Upon arrival at the Kunming airport/train station, the local tour guide and driver will meet you in the arrival hall and escort you to your hotel and help you check in. (Please note: to take the afternoon itinerary, you'd better arrange flight or train landing in Kunming before 12:00.) 

In this afternoon, you’ll take a visit to the famous Western Hills which is called “Sleeping Beauty Hills”, looking like a beautiful young lady lying beside Dian Lake (the largest freshwater in Yunnan and famed as the “Pearl on the Plateau”). It is a particularly pleasant experience to walk in such verdant forest mountain park with elegant sightseeing and a series of cultural relics and sites, including some old temples. You will not miss the symbolic visit to the magic Dragon Gate as it says “If you do not visit Western Hill, you haven't visited Kunming; if you do not come to Dragon Gate, you haven't been to Western Hills”, where to admire the colorful old grottoes on the wall and catch the panoramic view of the large peaceful Dianchi Lake and Kunming City. (You can visit the temples if interested. Huating Temple and Taihua Temple are included in the ticket.) 

After the tour, drive back to your hotel.

  • Western Hill & Dragon Gate Kunming Western Hill
  • Western Hill & Dragon Gate Kunming Western Hill

Day 2 Kunming - Stone Forest & Bullet Train to Lijiang (B, L)

After breakfast, your local guide and driver will meet you at your hotel and then escort you to discover Stone Forest first for about 1.5 hours’ riding (85km)!

Kunming Stone Forest as the “Essence of World Karst Landform” has been listed as the UNESCO World Natural Heritage with the incomparable coverage of 12 square kilometers’ stone pinnacle groups. Take the sightseeing bus to visit the Greater Stone Forest Scenic Area to admire the typical concentrating cinerous stone pinnacles by walking through the maze of stone peaks and jumping high for the panorama of the forest of protruding stone peaks. Also, you will see the famous peak on many photos and even stones towering over 40 meters. Then, continue to ride the bus to explore the Lesser Stone Forest to closely look at the iconic stone “Ashima” like a young lady, listen to the touching love story of Ashima, and fill your eyes with the emerald garden-like park of wilder stone peaks surrounded by lush green plants and blossoms. Take the sightseeing bus to exit the scenic park.

After the discovering, drive back to Kunming downtown and enjoy a leisure visit to Kunming Green Lake. This pretty park with a lovely lake, old-styled pavilions, corridors, flowers, etc. is the most popular place for an authentic feeling of local Kunming people’s leisure life with citizens singing, dancing, talking, exercising, etc.  During November to the next March, Black-headed Gulls from Siberian will never be late to fly there for their expecting comfortable warm winter holiday. Do not miss playing with those adorable and vigorous elfin during your relaxing roam!

After the tour, you’ll be escorted to Kunming Railway Station to take a high speed train from Kunming to Lijiang (about 3.5 hrs). After your arrival at Lijiang Railway Station, your local guide and drive will meet you there and escort you to your hotel. Have a nice sleep! 

  • Kunming Green Lake Winter Scenery Kunming Green Lake Winter Scenery
  • Major Stone Forest Major Stone Forest

Day 3 Lijiang (B, L)

On this day, explore in and out of Lijiang Ancient Town to explore Naxi Dongba culture showed everywhere. You have got the opportunity to know Naxi people, Naxi Dongba Houses, Dongba Writing, Naxi Ancient Music, Naxi Dance and Dongba Region.

After breakfast, your guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel. First, you’ll be transferred out of Lijiang Old Town to Yuhu Village which is located at the foot of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Walking into this authentic Naxi Village, you’ll see unique stone houses, Naxi ladies dressing in traditional clothes, kids playing, a tranquil Yuhu Lake…explore leisurely around the village and then go to explore the Former Residence of Joseph Rock, who was an Austrian-American Botanist came to Lijiang and stayed in Yuhu Village for 27 years and made huge research work on Naxi minority.

Later, head to Baisha Village and appreciate the ancient Baisha Mural Paintings. Houses here are arranged on a north-south axis around a central, terraced square. Visit Dabaoji Palace and Liuli Temple to view murals painted over 1000 years ago which depict subjects relating to Buddhism, Taoism and the life of the Naxi people, incorporating cultural elements of the Bai people.

After that, transfer to Dongba Culture Museum where more than 10,000 Dongba cultural relics show mysterious Dongba culture of the Naxi people. Take a gentle walk to Black Dragon Pool Park to enjoy gorgeous view and peaceful surroundings. If weather permits, get to the best spot to overlook the snow-capped Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and shoot some amazing pictures.

After that, enjoy a memorable tour to wander in Lijiang Ancient Town (Dayan Ancient Town). Established in the Ming dynasty as a commercial center, Lijiang Old Town is a well-preserved 800-year-old town for Naxi ethnic group, listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. Walk to the central area of the old town and visit Mufu Palace. A saying goes “there is Forbidden City in the North, Mu’s Residence in the South”. Mu’s Residence was called the miniature Forbidden City. Looked from a far distance, it likes a grand imperial palace and it is famous for the grandness and architectural buildings. Getting into the palace, you can know Tusi’s ruling history and appreciate Naxi people’s brilliant culture and fine arts. Then, wander through the old alleys, old bridges, featured shops and bars to Sifang Street Square, a mingling ground to enjoy lively atmosphere and unwind yourself. If time permits, join the Naxi people and tourists to dance happily in a round. (Optional Activity: Take a leisure walk up to the Lion Hill and climb up the 33-meter-tall Wanggu Tower - the landmark building of Lijiang to enjoy a panoramic view of the whole old town and overlook the magnificent Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in the distance.)

  • Black Dragon Pool Park Black Dragon Pool Park
  • Lijiang Old Town Full View from Wangu Tower Lijiang Old Town Full View from Wangu Tower
  • Former Residence of Joseph Rock Former Residence of Joseph Rock
  • Baisha Mural Paintings Baisha Mural Paintings

Day 4 Lijiang - Shangri-La (B, L)

After breakfast, your guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel. First, drive about 52 kilometers from Lijiang to view the First Bend of Yangtze River. The upper reach of the Yangtze River is Jinsha River coming down from Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau and when it arrives at Shigu Town, it is obstructed by Hailuo Mountain and forms a V-shape turn. Then it changes the direction and goes to the northeast. You’ll reach the observation deck to catch a panoramic view of the bend, an extraordinary turn nearly about 180 degrees with beautiful and marvelous views like a wonderful landscape painting unfolding before your eyes. You’ll have a look at local market and Red Army’s Long March Memorial Monument in Shigu Town.

Later, be transferred to visit the one of the deepest and most spectacular river canyon in the world - Tiger Leaping Gorge. It is also a part of UNESCO World Heritage Site called Three Parallel of Yunnan Protected Areas. This steep gorge is situated between the 5596 meters Jade Dragon Snow Mountain to the south and 5396 meters Haba Snow Mountain to the north. Measuring 17 kilometers in length, the whole gorge is divided into three parts: upper, middle and lower gorge and you’ll pay a visit to the maturest section - Upper Tiger Leaping Gorge. Walk about 1,000 stairs along the plank road from the entrance to the Tiger Leaping Rock. Take a moment to enjoy the magnificent gorge view and rolling waves. (Travel tip: This gorge is suitable for most travelers with easy walk. Comfortable shoes are recommended.)

After the hiking tour, you’ll be driven to Shangri-La. With 2 hours' driving, enjoy the enchanting natural scenery along the way. Welcome to Shangri-La (Zhongdian, altitude: 3459meters), the Garden of Eden! Upon arrival, check in your hotel and explore this earthly paradise on your own. 

Recent News: Tiger Leaping Gorge Tourist Area is going to be closed from November 1st, 2020 to April 30th 2021 due to the road construction. Please plan your trip accordingly or contact us to help you plan your Lijiang and Shangri-La trip properly!

  • Sightseeing at First Bend of Yangtze River Sightseeing at First Bend of Yangtze River
  • Upper Tiger Leaping Gorge Upper Tiger Leaping Gorge

Day 5 Shangri-La (B, L)

Today is a full day to explore the earthly paradise described in the famous novel Lost Horizon by James Hilton.

After breakfast, your guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel. First, you’ll be transferred with 7 kilometers’ driving to Songzanlin Monastery (Ganden Sumtseling Gompa), reputed as the “Little Potala Palace” for it was built according to the complex of Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. Established by the Fifth Dalai Lama in 1679, the monastery belongs to Gelug Sect of Tibetan Buddhism, and it is also the largest Buddhist monastery in Yunnan Province with around 700 monks and lamas. Walk 147 steps to get atop of the monastery and pay clockwise visit to the three main lamasery buildings where you can not only see the Buddhism treasures, but also enjoy large number of monks of all ages going about their daily routines, praying, chanting, cooking and resting. It should a nice trip to get in-depth understanding about Tibetan Buddhism. If time permits, take some quiet time to walk around the peaceful Lamuyangcuo Lake and shoot panorama view of Songzanlin Monastery with reflection in the clear water.

Then, drive about 27 kilometers to Pudacuo National Park. This 1,300-square-kilometer national park is notable as the first first national park in China to meet International Union for Conservation of Nature standards. It is renowned for well-preserved primitive landscape, which is endowed with lakes, wetlands, forests, meadows, streams, brooks, rare plants and animals. Visit the spots by clockwise and throw yourselves into the lush green forest with diverse species of flora and fauna, walk along the plank road to catch the gorgeous scenery of Shudu Lake (hike 3.3 km, about 1 hour). (Note: the altitude of Pudacuo is at 3500m-4150m and you should avoid strong activities. There’s no problem to hike in the park.)

Important Notice: Militang Pasture (弥里塘草场) and Bita Lake (碧塔海) in Pudacuo National Park are closed for tourists due to maintenance from 3th September, 2017. The administrative office of Pudacuo National Park hasn't confirmed when they will be open exactly. Shudu Lake Scenic Area (属都湖) is still open for tourists. If you want to adjust todays itinerary, please contact your travel consultant. 

After the merry time in the park, pay a visit to a local Tibetan family to experience the highly-praised hospitality of Tibetan people and taste some special Tibetan snacks and butter tea. (Optional Experience: If you are interested in the Tibetan people’s daily drinks, you can follow the locals to involve in the process of making butter tea.)

Last, get back to Shangri-La to explore Dukezong Old Town. With a history over 1300 years, Dukezong Old Town is the largest and the best preserved Tibetan community in China. Climb up to the top of Guishan Hill (or Tortoise Hill) to have a panoramic view of both the endless snow-capped mountains surrounded the pure land and the large scale of the old town with countless Tibetan dwellings. Join in the tourists to turn the largest Prayer Wheel in the world in clockwise direction. 

  • Shangri-La Songzanlin Monastery Outside Scenery Shangri-La Songzanlin Monastery Outside Scenery
  • Songzanlin Monastery Songzanlin Monastery
  • Dukezong Old Town Dukezong Old Town
  • Pudacuo National Park Pudacuo National Park

Day 6 Flight to Lhasa from Shangri-La (B)

Today is free for you to have fun until your flight to Lhasa. Once arrival in Lhasa Airport, your tour guide will be pick you up at the airport, then escort to your hotel in Lhasa city at the comfort of your own private vehicle. During the hour long drive to your hotel in the city, enjoy the breathtaking view along the Yarlong Tsangpo River. Tibetan features can be seen along the way, including Big Buddha engravings on the hill near the road, colorful prayer flags and friendly Tibetan people. Overnight at Lhasa.

After you arrive at your hotel, the rest of the day is free for you to explore the local area and become acclimatize to this high altitude city at the top of the world.

  • Yarlong Tsangpo River Yarlong Tsangpo River

Day 7 Lhasa (B)

Today you will visit popular attractions in Lhasa city and suburb to explore Tibetan culture and acclimatize more to the altitudes of Lhasa. You will firstly go to visit the beautiful Norbulingka which used to be the former summer palace of Dalai Lamas in the ancient time, and now is a public park. Dotted with various kinds of precious flowers and plans, it is the genuine "Plateau Oxygen Bar". In addition to its magnificent buildings and colorful flowers, Norbulingka also features some big Tibet event activities during big festivals, like Tibetan shows in annual Shoton Festival. Next, drive several kilometers to the western outskirts of Lhasa to visit Drepung Monastery. Drepung, in Tibetan, means "prosperity". Since its establishment, Drepung Monastery has always been one of the most important Buddhist monasteries in Tibet. In its heyday, there were more than 10,000 monks lived and studied in the monastery. Throughout its history, many important and famous Tibetan leaders used to study here, especially the Dalai Lamas. So Drepung Monastery is also respectfully known as the "Mother School of Dalai Lamas". You can also enjoy a panoramic view of Lhasa from Drepung Monastery.

In the afternoon, you will be taken to another famous monastery in Lhasa - Sera Monastery. It is famous for the spectacular "Buddhism Debating". As a daily routine, the monks gather in a courtyard, and debate on the Buddhist doctrines with supplemented gestures, which is thought to be helpful to facilitates better comprehension of the Buddhist philosophy to attain higher levels of study. After enjoying the "Buddhism Debating", you will be transferred back to the city. The rest time is your own free time to rest.

The Etiquette of Visiting Monastery: 1) you shouldn't wear short and uncover shoulders; 2) taking off your sunglasses and hat before entering the chapels; 3) taking photos is usually not allowed inside the chapels.

  • Monks at Drepung Monastery Entrance Monks at Drepung Monastery Entrance
  • Norbulingka Norbulingka Park
  • Monks Debating at Sera Monastery Monks Debating at Sera Monastery

Day 8 Lhasa (B)

Start today's Lhasa exploration with an exciting visit to the landmark - Potala Palace which is the home to the successive Dalai Lama as well as a great masterpiece of Tibetan architecture. The whole palace is divided into the White Palace - living quarters and office to deal with political and Buddhist affairs for Dalai Lamas, and the Red Palace where houses several stupas of previous Dalai Lamas, many historical relics and precious arts. After entering the gate of Potala Palace, you need to walk up about 30 minutes along the zigzag stone paths with white-and-red walls to the White Palace. Remember to ascend the steps slowly and take some stops for sightseeing and rest which will be helpful to reduce high altitude sickness. Then explore the palace in an orderly way from the White Palace to the Red Palace, and exit from the back side. After Potala Palace visit, go to enjoy a leisure stroll in Zongjiao Lukang Park, a lovely park with pleasant scenery built around the lake behind Potala Palace. It is a great place to experience local Tibetans' living styles as you can see local people gethering and chatting, taking exercise, walking the kora, feeding wild birds and ducks, etc. If you day is clear, you can take some great photos of the reflection of Potala Palace on the lake in the park.

Continuing your exploration, you will then get to Jokhang Temple which is considered as the spiritual center of Lhasa and the most revered religious structure of Tibet. In front of Jokhang Temple, you can see crowds of pilgrims polishing the flagstones with their prostration, which is truly a heart-touching scene you will ever see. This temple is also known as the "house of Buddha" because it keeps the precious Jowo Rinpoche, the life-sized (5 foot/1.5m) image of the Shakyamuni at the age of 12. Rise to the top floor of this temple, you can see savor the beautiful golden roof and the view of Potala Palace afar. The last site for today’s exploration is the famous Barkhor Street. It is a circular and wide street encircling the Jokhang Temple. The local people like to walk on the street for several circles usually in the late afternoon as a daily tradition of pilgrimage. The street also has many shops selling a wide variety of traditional Tibetan goods, religious items and handcrafts.

Optional Activity: If your physical strength permits, take a short climb to the viewing-deck of Chakpori Hill to take a panoramic photo of Potala Palace after you Potala Palace visit.

Tips of today: 1) taking photos is not allowed inside the palace; 2) today you will be mainly outside, please bring some water, a hat, sun cream, and sun glasses with you.

  • Tibet Potala Palace Visit Potala Palace
  • Jokhang Temple Jokhang Temple
  • Meet Tibet Locals Meet Tibet Locals

Day 9 Lhasa - Namtso - Lhasa (B)

Today, you will take an exciting trip to the holy lake Namtso – Tibet’s most beautiful lake and the world’s highest saltwater lake with an altitude of 4,818 meters. The overwhelming beauty also makes it known as the Heavenly Lake and the Paradise of Photographer. It needs 5 hours to drive to Namtso Lake but you will have a good view of Mt. Nyenchen Thangla Ranges on the way.

After your arrival, take a short rest and throw yourself into the incredible landscape of Namtso Lake. It’s quite common for tourists who are awestruck at the Namtso at the first sight. With the snowy mountains in the background, the crystal-clear dazzling blue water, Namtso is stretching to the horizon. In clear days, the lake looks like a beautiful turquoise surrounded by magnificent snow-capped Tanggula Mountains, and the lakeshore is green, wide and open, dotted with yaks and sheep of local nomads. For travelers, Namtso is the ideal place for photography and sightseeing. While for Tibetans, it is a sacred and magical lake for pilgrimage. You can see some Tibetans walk the kora around the lake with prayer wheels.

Lastly, drive back to Lhasa for accommodation.

Tips of Today: 1) the altitudes of Namtso Lake region is about 5, 000 meters, so you should be fully prepared for high altitude sickness. Do remember to keep warm all the time and avoid strenuous activity; 2) it is available ride a yak in Namtso lake but remember to ask for the owners’ permission and about the price in advance; 3) if you want to spend longer time and watch sunset, you can also accommodate at Damxung County for a night, which is about 1.5 hours' driving from Namtso Lake.

  • Namtso Lake Namtso Lake

Day 10 Lhasa Departure (B)

Today is free for you until your tour guide transfer you to the airport in time for your flight or drop you off at Lhasa train station.

Tips of today: 1) please pack your luggage carefully, especially for small things like camera charger, power adaptor, mobile phone, phone charger, wallet and towel; 2) if your flight is arranged in the afternoon, please make sure you check out the hotel before 12pm.

Free Quote for the Trip

Recommended Add-on Options

No documents found.

10 Days Yunnan Tibet Discovery Tour

Customize your own China Tour

China DIY Travel
We are here to help you design your own travel experience in China which suits your specific needs best. Tailor make now!
Start to design

Recommended other China tours you may like

Black Dragon Pool Park
11 Days Amazing Yunnan Tour

Kunming / Stone Forest / Yuanyang / Jianshui / Kunming / Dali / Lijiang / Shangri-La

Kaili Miao Minority People
10 Days Yunnan & Guizhou Amazing Minorities Tour

Kunming / Lijiang / Shangri-La / Kunming / Fanjingshan / Kaili / Zhaoxing / Congjiang

Look up at Leshan Giant Buddha from its foot stage
10 Days Classic Sichuan & Yunnan Highlights Tour

Chengdu / Leshan / Mount Emei / Lijiang / Shangri-La / Kunming

Start planning your tailor-made holiday to China by contacting one of our specialists. Once enquired, you’ll get a response within 0.5~23.5 hours.

Customize a Trip

[Important] Travel News for Expats: China travel is reopening now! Travel with China Discovery and learn about where to visit & requirements for each destination! Read Details >

You're inquiring about the " 10 Days Yunnan Tibet Unique Discovery Tour "

Please tell us more about your travel plans within just a few simple steps. We'll get back to you with a quotation in 0.5~23.5hrs.

Check Your Tour Inform

  • No documents found.

Tell us more about your trip

Tell us about yourself

Submit